Westpac and MYOB hit one-year GetOnline.co.nz goal in eight months
More than 10,000 New Zealand businesses are now operating online because they took advantage of the tools provided byGetOnline.co.nz, a recent Westpac and MYOB initiative designed to help local businesses create a website.
With 80% of the country’s consumers researching via the internet before making a purchase decision1, this makes a sizeable difference to the competitive ability of the participating businesses.
GetOnline gives Kiwi companies a free domain name, and enables them to build their own business website free of charge for one year.
Westpac and MYOB committed publicly to a one-year goal of getting 10,000 businesses online through the program when it launched in June 2012. That target was achieved in eight months and demand is still strong.
Businesses based in Auckland have shown the highest demand for GetOnline, with over 33% of the websites created coming from the region, followed by 13% in Canterbury and 11% in Wellington. The industries that were most likely to take up the opportunity were business services (28%), retail (25%) and construction and trade (16%).
MYOB General Manager Business Division James Scollay says the boost in online presence would be one of the most significant take-ups of internet technology in a single year by New Zealand SMEs.
“It’s wonderful to see so many local businesses taking advantage of the GetOnline program. They’re now profiting from the opportunities that arise from being visible online,” he says.
“We’re delighted to be empowering business owners to discover that a wide range of benefits stem directly from having a business website, including increased revenue, wider audience reach and better sales conversations. Not to mention the ability to better stand their ground amongst their local and international peers.
“Websites considerably improve businesses’ ability to reach customers in a cost effective, measurable way. A considerable competitive advantage is achieved by any business that can be found online by potential and existing customers.”
Scollay says that while GetOnline has been a great success so far, about two-thirds of Kiwi SMEs are still without a website.
“More than three quarters of New Zealanders research their purchase decisions online yet less than one third of SMEs have a website. There’s room for improvement, and by partnering with Westpac we’re hoping to help drive that improvement.”
Westpac General Manager Business Banking Mark Fitz-Gerald says GetOnline is a perfect solution for small and medium businesses restricted by time, budget and resources, as the tools provided are designed to be easy and efficient.
“GetOnline is part of Westpac’s Grow NZ initiative and one of a number of ways we are helping local companies develop their business and encouraging smart investment to support future economic growth,” Mr Fitz-Gerald says.
“The internet is a boundary breaker and a business website is an essential tool for communicating with your existing customers, and a brilliant and cost-effective way to put your company in front of potential customers.”
Westpac hosted workshops with MYOB around the country to assist businesses get online and maximise the opportunity and provided further support releasing Bizpac, a bundle of tailored banking solutions for SMEs.
“Businesses responded to the opportunity, significantly increasing the number of New Zealand SMEs online,” Mr Fitz-Gerald says. “The uptake has been excellent and we are pleased to be helping New Zealand businesses grow and achieve their goals.”
Recent MYOB research found 43% of SME owners and managers said having a website - rather than using any other promotional vehicle - has led to more customer enquiries and interest. 31% said they had increased their income or revenue thanks to their website.
1Consumer Commerce Barometer NZ, April 2010
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About MYOB New Zealand
Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand's largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across New Zealand and Australia, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends more than NZ$35 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions provider BankLink. For more information, visit myob.co.nz.